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You might assume that a board this affordable and named the "Basic" might be another janky plank. The top sheet, base construction and edges all look a bit weak upon inspection. But digging deeper into the design, materials and construction, you'll find an exceptionally good board at a dirtbag price.
YES Snowboards was founded by pro-riders who left a larger, corporate snowboard company to do their own thing. So it is no surprise that YES Snowboards are designed with a love for the sport and a solid understanding of what makes a board enjoyable, as well as durable. This is what makes the YES Basic more than just a novice, or beginner board.
The YES Basic is a soft/medium flex freestyle board with a true twin shape. The 5000 sintered base makes it a little stiffer than your average park board, but it also makes it tough against scratches. Most boards priced below $350 are made of considerably weaker base materials. The core material is made of Poplar and Beech wood, and it has a decent amount of pop and holds a stable butter.
The boards are produced in Switzerland by Nidecker, a company that has a long history in the snowsports industry. The Basic is aesthetically lacking in graphics, but who doesn't sticker their board anyways? These boards carry a one year warranty, and so far I've been thrashing this board on a pretty shallow snow pack here in Southwest Colorado with no problems.
While riding a lot of log slides, rocks, street rails, and most everything not so powdery this winter, the board has held up to regular abuse. I've impacted the tip and tail, yet there is no evidence of the top sheet delaminating. My heel side edge is bent, but amazingly the metal is still connected to the sandwich. The board's symmetrical design turns and responds well in both powder and park. While riding above treeline at Silverton on icy crud, the board was prone to chatter and beat up my feet a little, thus probably not the best board for big mountain crust and ice.
The one issue I have is with the base. It has the word "YES" pieced into the base with two separate materials. It seems that keeping the base a solid, uniform piece would lend for a faster ride and as a result, the base is definitely not the fastest. Also there would be less chance of blowing an edge along where the two materials meet. Still overall a great value for a lot of fun riding regardless of your ability. (MSRP $250)
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